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Socialist deputy Olivier Ferrand dies at 42

media Olivier Ferrand at RFI in 2011. RFI/Anthony Favalli

Socialist deputy and president of think tank Terra Nova, Olivier Ferrand, died unexpectedly on Saturday, following a morning jog in the southeastern town of Velaux. Ferrand, who leaves behind his wife and 12 year old daughter, was 42 years old.

Ferrand was in the garden of his parents’ house following a run, around 10:30 a.m., when he suffered a heart attack. His mother, who was the first to find him, called emergency services but they were not able to revive him.

President François Hollande saluted Ferrand for his work in the Socialist party, as well as his leadership over Terra Nova.

“He was a talent that our country could pride itself on, and whose future held enormous promise. His voice will be missed at the National Assembly,” Hollande said in a statement from the Elysée Palace.

The president of the National Assembly, Claude Bartolone, said following the announcement of Ferrand’s death that the entire assembly was in mourning.

“We are crying over the loss of this new deputy, who was appreciated for his great sense of humanity and remarkable intelligence,” Bartolone said in a press release. “To his family and friends, I send my sincere condolences and those of the national assembly.”

First secretary of the Socialist party, Martine Aubry, also expressed her profound sadness and “immense shock for herself and for the Socialist party.”

Ferrand had just begun his position as deputy in the 8th electoral constituency of the Bouches-du-Rhône, where he beat UMP candidate Nicolas Isnard and the Front National’s Gérald Gérin with 40,48 percent of the vote in the parliamentary elections on 17 June.

Prior to his run in this year's legislative elections, Ferrand was elected deputy mayor of Thuir in 2008, and in Paris from 2001 to 2007.

In 2008, Ferrand created Terra Nova to provide innovative political ideas and solutions, counting thousands of experts among them.

Ferrand had been training for a marathon prior to his death, and was also an avid tennis player and skier.


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